Week of November 18
By Skip Heitzig
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” You’ve all heard that old saying by Benjamin Franklin in “Poor Richard’s Almanack.” I don’t know whether that kind of schedule really accomplishes all that, but I can speak about something that does benefit our health: gratitude.
Some researchers at the University of California studied the power of gratitude. They said grateful people had lower blood pressure, were less hostile, and more likely to quit smoking and lose weight. They wrote, “Those who maintain a thankful attitude through their life appear to have lower risks of several disorders including depression, phobias, bulimia and alcoholism.” And they added, “It doesn’t really work if you do it only once a year.”
Thankfulness is good for you, emotionally, relationally, and even physically. People who are grateful live longer, are healthier, and they’re filled with peace and joy.
But your health is only a secondary reason you should maintain a positive, thankful attitude. Gratitude is the proper attitude toward the one who provides all the blessings in our lives: God. Psalm 92 says, “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (vv. 1-2).
Gratitude is the action of servitude to the Lord. The verses in Psalm 92 aren’t saying it’s good to be thankful, to have an emotion. They’re saying it’s good to give thanks to the Lord.
There’s a great text in 1 Thessalonians 5: “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (v. 18). So if you want to know God’s will for your life, one thing He wants from you—not just on one day but every day—is to give thanks in everything. Be filled with gratitude to the Creator for the things that He’s given you.
Now you might think, “You don’t know what I’ve been through.” You’re right; I don’t. But I know Him. I know what He said, and I believe it. Romans 8:28 says all things work together for good. So in all things, in the midst of the worst of times, God is still good, and He gives us His blessings every day.
So, let’s render our thanks to God for all His benefits. And have a healthy and happy Thanksgiving!
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